When you are rendered unconscious in preparation for a surgical operation, you should feel confident that the next time you wake up, your Louisiana surgery is already concluded. However, this is not always the case. In the event the anesthesia administered to you was inadequate, you might awaken during the surgery itself, which can have perpetual consequences.
An article featured on the Smithsonian website detailed occurrences of individuals who woke up during their operations. Patients that were prematurely aroused felt sensations ranging from uncomfortable to frightening, reporting incidents of feeling the fingers of the surgical staff probing inside their bodies and tugging on their innards. Additionally, they could also smell flesh being cauterized. Depending on how much sedative they had in their bodies, many of these people had no ability to speak or to warn the doctors they were awake unless the doctors noticed their eyes were open.
According to a piece run on CNN’s website, the paralysis that patients experience during their surgery arousal is even more distressing than any pain they feel, since many people are not used to not being able to move their limbs. In one instance, a female patient awakened during eye surgery to hear a surgeon tell a trainee to cut deeper into her eye. While she did not feel any pain, the patient could not move to alert doctors that she was awake. The paralysis awakened patients feel can make them think they are dying, simulating a near death experience.
These premature arousals can create long term psychological effects. Victims of surgery awareness may even exhibit post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Possible symptoms can include nightmares and flashbacks, as well as anxieties triggered by events in normal life. The traumatizing experience of being awake during surgery can remain with people for years to come.